The Swaminarayan diet is a dietary practice followed by followers of the Swaminarayan faith, a sect within Hinduism founded by Bhagwan Swaminarayan in the late 18th century. The Swaminarayan diet is primarily vegetarian and promotes the consumption of sattvic (pure) foods while avoiding foods that are considered rajasic (stimulating) or tamasic (impure). Here are some key aspects of the Swaminarayan diet:
The Swaminarayan diet is strictly vegetarian, with a focus on plant-based foods. Since the food we make at Chakra does not include animal products, it's naturally compatible with a Swaminarayan diet. Members of the Swaminarayan community generally abstain from consuming meat, fish, eggs, and animal-derived ingredients.
Great emphasis is placed on Sattvic foods, which are believed to promote purity, clarity of mind, and spiritual growth. These foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, dairy products (in moderation), nuts, seeds, and natural sweeteners like jaggery and honey. While we don't use dairy products or honey at Chakra being that we are 100% plant-based, nearly all other Sattvic ingredients we use in our dishes.
Most notably, onion and garlic is avoided in a Swaminarayan diet. These ingredients are believed to be rajasic and tamasic, respectively, and are thought to stimulate passion, aggression, and dullness of mind. By excluding them from their diet, followers aim to maintain a calm and pure state of mind.
The Swaminarayan diet encourages moderation in food consumption and emphasizes maintaining a balanced diet. Overindulgence, excessive spiciness, and heavy or fried foods are discouraged. We don't deep fry food at Chakra, and we genearlly try to offer dishes the are light and healthy, yet filling.
Hygiene and cleanliness are essential aspects of the Swaminarayan diet. Followers are encouraged to consume food prepared in a clean and pure environment, following strict food hygiene practices.
The Swaminarayan faith also observes fasting and vrat (religious observances) on specific occasions. During these periods, followers may abstain from certain foods or limit their food intake as a means of spiritual purification and discipline.
The Swaminarayan diet, in addition to its religious significance, promotes a wholesome and balanced approach to nutrition. By focusing on fresh, natural, and vegetarian foods, followers aim to maintain physical health, mental clarity, and spiritual well-being. It is important to note that individual dietary practices may vary among Swaminarayan followers, as personal preferences and interpretations may influence specific food choices within the broader guidelines of the diet.